Friday, February 29, 2008

It's Time!

I have been telling my friends for many years that I have a goal to break three hours in a full 26.2-mile marathon in a racing wheelchair. Plenty of people have done it running and plenty have wheeled in under three hours, but few have done it both ways.

Today, with the blessings of my wife and doctors, I put a bid on my first racing wheelchair on e-bay, and contacted the local company that will help me put together the specifications for a custom built model (once I lose about 30 lbs).

I will post periodic updates concerning my progress here on my blog. My target is the 2009 Boston Marathon, assuming I can qualify. If not, then 2010 at the latest! Please wish me luck! And come back to see how I am progressing.

Thank you,

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Make that 800!

Click to enlarge. You can order copies of John Curdo's Chess Caviar series directly from Mr. Curdo. His address is given at the end of today's blog. The games are beautiful and instructive. The price is reasonable. All three booklets are a must in any chess library.

One of the chapters in my book due out later this year celebrates FM John Curdo's lifetime quest for 700 chess tournament victories. (That's tournaments, not games!) It has taken me so long to finish the book that John has recently won his 800th tournament! Congratulations to my friend and chess mentor. In the coming months, I will feature some of John Curdo's games here in my blog. As you will see, many of these have never before been published.

Today's Game

The initiation of the popular 5...c5 line in the Austrian Attack against what was then known as the Yugoslav Opening (nowadays commonly referred to as the Pirc Defense) is credited to Canadian Grandmaster Duncan Suttles, who first played the line against U.S. player Karl Burger in 1965 (Burger won). However, I know of at least one game played before that. In Chess Openings: Theory & Practice, published in 1964, author I.A. Horowitz states, "5...c5 is dubious because of 6.Bb5+ Bd7 7.e5 Ng4 8.e6! (Krogius-Polugaevsky, USSR Championship, 1958). Times have certainly changed! (Note: Click the link to play over the game on

Both 6.e5 and 6.Bb5+ are quite popular, with each line often transposing into the other. 5...c5 gained credibility at the Grandmaster level when Bobby Fischer trotted it out in Game 17 of his 1972 World Championship match against Boris Spassky. Spassky tried to keep things calm by exchanging on c5 right away. Bobby sacrificed the exchange on move 21 and a tense battle ensued with Spassky maintaining the upper hand for much of the game. The game was eventually drawn on move 45 after a triple repetition of position (see supplemental game 12 below).

GM Pal Benko played this line in the late 60s, but it did not gain general acceptance until Fischer used it. In any case, FM John Curdo is a virtuoso with the Austrian attack. In addition to the following 5...c5 contests, I will show some of his games against the more common 5...0-0 later this month.

FM John Curdo vs. M. Raubal
New Hampshire Open
July 27, 1997
Pirc Austrian Attack (B09)

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4 Bg7 5.Nf3 c5 (see note A) 6.e5 (note B) 6...Nfd7 (C) 7.e6 fxe6 (Diagram)

J.Curdo vs. M.Raubal, NH Open 1997, position after 7...fxe6

8.Ng5 Nf6 (D) 9.dxc5 0-0 (E) 10.cxd6 exd6 11.Bb5 (F) 12.0-0 a6 13.Bd3 Qb6+ 14.Kh1 Bd7 15.a3 Rae8 16.Qe1 d5 17.Be3 d4 18.Bg1 Qc7 19.Ne2 Nh5 20.Qh4 Qa5 21.Ng3 Nxg3+ 22.hxg3 h6 23.Bxg6 Rf6 24.Bh7+ Kh8 25.Bd3 Kg8 26.Ne4 Rff8 27.g4 Ne7 28.Nd6! Qd5 29.Nxe8 Bc6 30.Rf3 Rxe8 31.Re1 Qd6 32.Rff1 Nd5 33.g5 Rf8 34.gxh6 Nxf4 35.Rxf4 Rxf4 36.Qg3 Bxg2+ 37.Kxg2 Qd5+ 38.Be4 1-0


A -- 5...c5 is one of the two major alternatives for Black against the Austrian Attack. The other (5...0-0) will be featured in another blog later this month.

B -- Curdo's favorite treatment, although he frequently varies his play to make it difficult for his opponents to prepare. The move 6.Bb5+ often transposes to similar lines.

C -- 6...dxe5 and 6...Ng4 are also popular. See supplemental games below for examples. Against 6...Nfd7, Curdo likes the unblalanced nature of the positions following 7.e6!?. There are playable moves other than 7.e6 for White. For example, Sofia Polgar won nicely with: 7.Be3 0-0 8.exd6 exd6 9.Be2 Qa5 10.0-0 Nf6 11.Kh1 Re8 12.Bg1 Nc6 13.Bc4 Bg4 14.dxc5 dxc5 15.Qd6 Bxf3 16.Rxf3 Nd4 17.Bxd4 cxd4 18.Qxd4 Rad8 19.Qf2 b5?! (19...Ne4 20.Nxe4 Rxe4 21.Bd3 Bxb2 22.Bxe4 Bxa1 23.Rd3 Re8 24.Rd1 Rxe4 25.Rxa1 b6 liquidates into an endgame where Black has a more favorable pawn structure.) 20.Bxb5 Ne4 21.Qh4 Bf6 22.Qh3 Bxc3 23.Bxe8 Bxb2 24.Bxf7+ Kxf7 25.Qxh7+ Kf6 26.Raf1 Qh5 27.Qb7 1-0, Sofia Polgar-Shchekachev, Vienna, 1991.

D --Thanks to John's encouragement, I have won a few times with this line myself! After 8...Bxd4 9.Nb5 Nf6 10.c3 a6 11.Na3 Nc6 12.cxd4 Nxd4 13.Bd3 0-0 14.0-0 Nd5 (14...Bd7 is Curdo-Bowler, 1997, supplemental game #17 below) 15.Nxh7 Rf5 16.Bxf5 exf5 17.Ng5 e5 18.fxe5 dxe5 19.Nf3 Nc6 20.Nc4 e4 21.Bg5 Qd7 22.Nfe5 Nxe5 23.Nxe5 Qe6 24.Nxg6 Qxg6 25.Qd5+ Be6 26.Qxb7 1-0, F.Niro-C.Merli, USChessLive, 2001.

E -- There are some decent alternatives here. For 9...Qa5, see Curdo-Bourque (supplemental game #2). 9...d5 paid monumental dividends for IM Ronald Burnett in his huge upset win over GM Walter Browne in the 2003 US Championship (supplemental game #16). 9...h6 didn't do much for my opponent after 10.Nf3 dxc5 11.Qxd8 Kxd8 12.Ne5 and Black resigned on move 22, ChessSafari-Bluto, USChessLive, 2001. 9...Nc6 (According to John Nunn, this move order is more accurate.) 10.cxd6 (10.Bc4 d5 11.Bb5 d4 12.Bxc6+ bxc6 13.Ne2 Qa5+ 14.Qd2 Qxc5 15.Nxd4 Qd5 16.c3 0-0 17.0-0 Nh5 18.Qe2 e5! Vasiukov-Tseshkovsky, USSR ch. 1974; 10.Bd3 dxc5 11.0-0 0-0 12.Qe1 Nb4 13.Nxe6 Nxd3 14.cxd3 Bxe6 15.Qxe6+ Kh8, Black is slightly better, Hartston-Timman, Hastings, 1973/4) 10...exd6 11.Bc4 (11.Bd3 d5 was eventually won by White in Holzhauser-Darius, GER, 1997; 11...Qb6!?) 11...d5 12.Bb3 0-0 13.0-0 Kh8 14.Kh1 d4 15.Ne2 Nd5 16.c3 dxc3 17.bxc3 h6=, Shirazi-Christiansen, Palo Alto, 1981. 9...Qd7 may even be playable if you view the hanging center pawns as a potential strength rather than a weakness. A possible continuation: 10.cxd6 exd6 11.Bb5 Nc6 12.0-0 0-0 13.Re1 Re8 14.Bc4 d5 15.Bb3 Na5 16.Ba4 Nc6 17.Be3 and Black appears to be no worse off than the other lines -- Fritz analysis.

F -- 11.Bd3 Na6 12.0-0 Nc7 13.Bd2 Ncd5 14.Nxd5 Nxd5 15.Nxh7 Kxh7 16.Qh5+ Kg8 17.Bxg6 (17.Qxg6 Rf6 18.Qh7+ Kf8 -+) 17...Nf6 (17...Qb6+!?) 18.Qh4 Bd7 19.Bc3 Be8 20.f5 e5 21.Rad1 Qc7 22.g4 Qc5+ 23.Rf2 Bh6 24.Bd4 Qd5 25.Bxe8 Be3 26.Ba4, Heidsiek-M.Fischer, corr. 1984, ended in a draw.

Supplemental Games with 5...c5 (notes by John Curdo unless otherwise indicated):

(1) J. Curdo vs. R. Judy, Worcester, MA, October 9, 1994
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4 Bg7 5.Nf3 c5 6.e5 dxc5 7.Bb5+ Bd7 8.dxe5 Ng4 9.0-0 (9.e6!?) 0-0 10.Qe2 Nc6 11.Rd1 Qe8 12.h3 Nh6 13.Be3 b6 14.g4 Qc8 15.f5 a6 (15.gxf5 16.g5 +-) 16.Nd5 (Threatening 17.Nxb6 & 17.Bc6/Nxe7+) 16...Qb7 17.Nxe7+ Nxe7 18.Rxd7 Qc8 19.Rxe7 axb5 20.f6 Nxg4 21.hxg4 (Or 21.fxg7 Nxe3 22.gxf8=Q Kxf8 23.Rxf7+ Kxf7 34.Qxe3+-) 21...Qxg4+ 22.Kf2 Bh8 23.Bh6 Rfd8 24.e6 Bxf6 25.exf7+ Kh8 26.Re8+ 1-0

(2) J. Curdo vs. M. Bourque, Storrs, CT, February 11, 1995
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4 Bg7 5.Nf3 c5 6.e5 Nfd7 7.e6 fxe6 8.Ng5 Nf6 9.dxc5 Qa5 (Dubious! Usual here are 9...0-0 and 9...Nc6) 10.Bb5+ Nc6 11.0-0 a6 (Bad pick of a choice of evils. Perhaps 11...d5 or 11...dxc5?) 12.Bxc6+ bxc6 13. cxd6 Qc5+ 14.Kh1 Qxd6 (The d-pawn falls with discomfort on 14...exd6 15.Nce4 Nxe4 16.Nxe4.) 15.Qe2 0-0 16.Rd1 Nd5 17.Nce4 (Sacking a pawn for a developmental lead to enhance his positional plus.) 17...Nxf4 18.Bxf4 Qxf4 19.Rf1 Qe5 20.Rxf8+ Bxf8 21.Rf1 Bg7 22.Nf7 (Evicting the defending queen because 22.Qd3 Qd5 and 22.Qf3 Qf5 don't work.) 22...Qb5 23.c4 Qh5 (Avoiding 23...Qxb2 24.Qd3 Qd4 25.Nh6+ Kh8 26.Rf8+ winning.) 24.Qd2 Bb7 25.Qd7 Qg4 26.Nfg5 Rf8 27.Rxf8+ Bxf8 28.Nf6+! (The Black queen falls because 28...exf6 29.Qxh7 is mate.) 1-0

(3) J. Curdo vs. M. Broomes, Watertown, MA, September 17, 1989
(view game) 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4 Bg7 5.Nf3 c5 6.Bb5+ Bd7 7.Bxd7+ Nbxd7 8.e5 Ng8 (8...Nh5!? 9.g4 Nxf4 10.Bxf4 cxd4) 9.exd6 exd6 10.dxc5 dxc5 11.Ne4 Qe7 12.0-0 0-0-0 13.Nd6+ Kc7? 14.Nb5+ Kb8 15.f5! Ne5 16.Qe2 a6 17.Bf4 f6 18.Nc3 Ka8 (18...Nh6 19.Nxe5 fxe5 20.f6!+-) 19.Rad1 Nxf3+ 20.Qxf3 Nh6 21.Rde1 Qd7 22.Re6 Ka7 23.Rd6 Qxf5 24.Nb5+! 1-0

(4) J. Curdo vs. N. Castaneda, Philadelphia, PA, July 4, 1991
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4 Bg7 5.Nf3 c5 6.e5 Ng4 7.Bb5+ Bd7 8.e6 Bxb5 9.exf7+ Kd7 10.Nxb5 Qa5+ 11.Nc3 cxd4 12.Nxd4 Bxd4 13.Qxd4 Nc6 14.Qc4 Qb6 15.Qe2 h5 16.h3 Nh6 17.Bd2 Nf5 18.0-0-0 Ng3 19.Qd3 Nxh1 20.Rxh1 Raf8 21.Qxg6 Qa6 22.Re1 Nd8 23.Qf5+ e6 24.Qg6 Rxf7 25.Rxe6 Re8 26.Rxe8 Kxe8 27.b3 Kd7 28.Kb2 Qc6 29.g4 hxg4 30.hxg4 d5 31.Qd3 Kc8 32.Nxd5 Ne6 33.c4 Nc5 34.Qe3 Kb8 35.Qe5+ Kc8 36.Ne7+ Rxe7 37.Qxe7 b5 38.Be3 Nd3+ 39.Kc3 bxc4 40.bxc4 1-0

(5) J. Curdo vs. M. Saunders, Middletown, CT, June 20, 1999
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4 Bg7 5.Nf3 c5 6.e5 Ng4 7.Bb5+ Bd7 8.e6 Bxb5 9.exf7+ Kd7 10.Nxb5 Qa5+ 11.Nc3 cxd4 12.Nxd4 h5 13.h3 Nc6 14.Nde2 Nh6 15.0-0 Qb6+ 16.Kh1 Raf8 17.Ne4 Rxf7 18.Rf3 Nf5 19.Rb3 Qc7 20.Rxb7 Qxb7 21.Nc5+ Kc8 22.Nxb7 Kxb7 23.c3 e6 24.Qa4 Rc8 25.Bd2 Kb8 26.Kg1 d5 27.Re1 Nd6 28.Nc1 Nc4 29.Rxe6 Nd8 30.Re2 Rb7 31.Be3 Nxe3 32.Rxe3 Rxb2 33.Nb3 Bxc3 34.Rxc3 1-0

(6) J. Curdo vs. A. Schalk, Portsmouth, NH, April 2, 1994
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4 Bg7 5.Nf3 c5 6.e5 dxc5 7.Bb5+ Nfd7 8.dxe5 a6 9.Bc4 e6 10.Ne4 0-0 11.0-0 Nc6 12.Be3 b5 13.Be2 Qc7 14.c3 Bb7 15.Nd6 Rad8 16.Qe1 Ne7 17.Ng5 Nf5 18.Nxb7 Qxb7 19.Bf3 Qc7 20.Bf2 c4 21.g4 Ne7 22.Bd4 Nc5 23.Rd1 Nd3 24.Qh4 h6 25.Ne4 Nd5 26.g5 N5xf4 27.Nf6+ Bxf6 28.gxf6 Kh7 29.Rxd3 nxd3 30.Be3 Nf4 31.Bxf4 g5 32.Be4+ 1-0

(7) J. Curdo vs. A. Schalk, Milford, MA, April 9, 1995
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4 Bg7 5.Nf3 c5 6.e5 Ng4 7.Bb5+ Bd7 8.e6 fxe6 9.Ng5 Bxb5 10.Nxe6 (A more advantageous line is 10.Nb5 Qa5 11.c3 Qb5 12.Qg4! cxd4 13.Ne6 Qc4 14.Nxg7+ Kf7 15.f5! Kg7 16.Qh4 Nc6 17.Rf1 Kg8 18.Bh6 Re8 19.0-0-0! Qa2 20.f6!; or, White can try 10.Qg4 here as GM John Nunn played against Yasser Seirawan and Joel Benjamin--> games 10 & 11 below) 10...Bxd4 11.Nxb5 Qa5+ 12.c3 Bf2+ 13.Kd2 Be3+ 14.Ke1 Bf2+ 15.Kd2 Ne3+ 16.Ke1 Bf2+ 1/2-1/2

(8) J. Curdo vs. M. Enkin, Providence, RI, October 28, 2001
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4 Bg7 5.Nf3 c5 6.Bb5+ Bd7 7.e5 Ng4 8.e6 Bxb5 9.exf7+ Kd7 10.Nxb5 Qa5+ 11.Nc3 cxd4 12.Nxd4 Bxd4 13.Qxd4 Nc6 14.Qd1 Nf6 15.0-0 Qf5 16.Be3 Ng4 17.Qd2 Nxe3 18.Qxe3 Qxf7 19.Rad1 Rac8 20.Nd5 b6 21.Qa3 Rhd8 22.Rfe1 Ke8 23.Qc3 Kf8 24.Qh8+ Qg8 25.Qxg8+ Kxg8 26.Rxe7 Nxe7 27.Nxe7+ Kf8 28.Nxc8 Rxc8 29.c3 Ke7 30.Kf2 Ke6 31.Ke3 d5 32.Re1 Kd6 33.Kd3 b5 34.b3 a5 35.a3 b4 36.axb4 axb4 37.c4 dxc4 38.bxc4 Ra8 39.Re2 Kc5 40.Re5+ Kc6 41.g4 Ra3+ 42.Kd4 Rf3 43.f5 b3 44.fxg6 hxg6 45.Re6+ Kc7 46.Re2 Rf4+ 47.Kc3 Rxg4 48.Kxb3 Kc6 49.Kb4 Rh4 50.Re6+ Kc7 51.Rxg6 Rxh2 52.Kb5 Rb2+ 53.Kc5 Rh2 54.Rg7+ Kc8 55.Kb5 Rh6 56.c5 Rf6 57.c6 Rf1 59.Rg8+ 1/2-1/2

(9) J. Curdo vs. A. Gulati, North Bay, Ontario, Canada, August 5, 1998
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4 Bg7 5.Nf3 c5 6.e5 Ng4 7.Bb5+ Bd7 8.e6 Bxb5 9.exf7+ Kf8 10.Nxb5 Qa5+ 11.Nc3 Nh6 12.0-0 Nc6 13.d5 Nd4 14.Ne4 Nxf7 15.Nfg5 Qb6 16.c3 h6 17.Nxf7 Kxf7 18.cxd4 Bxd4+ 19.kh1 Kg7 20.f5 Qb5 21.fxg6 Rhf8 22.Bf4 b5 23.Qh5 Rh8 24.Bxh6+ 1-0

(10) J. Nunn vs. Y. Seirawan, Skelleftea, 1989
(view game) 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4 Bg7 5.Nf3 c5 6.Bb5+ Bd7 7.e5 Ng4 (The same position is frequently reached by reversing the move order: 6.e5 Ng4 7.Bb5+ Bd7) 8.e6 fxe6 9.Ng5 Bxb5 10.Qxg4 Bc4 (10...Bd7? was the losing move for Suttles against Burger in the game I mentioned at the beginning of today's blog after 11.Nxh7! Kf7 {or 11...Rxh7 12.Qxg6+ Kf8 13.Qxh7 cxd4 14.f5! with a decisive attack -- Nunn} 12.Ng5+ Kf8 or Kg8 13.Nxe6(+), etc. with advantage for White. For clear examples, go to and see Atkinson-Weidig, World Junior Ch., Mamaia 1991, and Strizak-Vospernik, Yugoslav Team Ch., 1990) 11.b3 (not 11.Nxh7? Kd7! -+) 11...Bxd4 12.Bd2 Bd5 13.Nxd5 exd5 14.0-0-0 Nc6 15.Qe6? (15.Ne6! Qc8!) 15...Qc8 16.Qf7+ Kd7 17.Qxd5 Qg8! 18.Qxg8 Rhxg8 19.Nxh7 b5 20.Ng5 b4 21.Rhe1 a5 22.Ne6 a4? (22...Bf6!) 23.Nxd4 Nxd4 24.Bxb4! axb3 25.axb3 Nxb3+ 26.cxb3 cxb4 27.Kb2 g5 28.f5 Ra5 29.Ra1 Rxf5 30.Ra7+ Kc6 31.Rxa7 Rf2+ 32.R1e2 Rgf8 33.Kc2 Rxe2+ 34.Rxe2 d5 35.Kd3 Kd6 36.Ra2 Ke5 37.Re2+ Kd6 38.Ra2 Rf1 39.Ra6+ Ke5 40.Rg6 Kf5 41.Rd6 Ke5 42.Rg6 Kf5 1/2-1/2

(11) J. Nunn vs. J. Benjamin, Thessaloniki, 1988
Click here for autoplay board on

(12) B. Spassky vs. R. Fischer, Reykjavik, Iceland, August 22, 1972
1. e4 d6 2.d4 g6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f4 Bg7 5.Nf3 c5 6.dxc5 Qa5 7.Bd3 Qxc5 8.Qe2 0-0 9.Be3 Qa5 10.0-0 Bg4 11.Rad1 Nc6 12.Bc4 Nh5 13.Bb3 Bxc3 14.bxc3 Qxc3 (Fischer has moved his queen 4 times in the last 6 moves to grab a tenuous pawn. Spassky decides to go trucking down the f-file as he releases his dark square bishop to roam unopposed. Spassky has the initiative for the pawn. -- Larry Evans & FN) 15.f5! Nf6 16.h3 Bxf3 17.Qxf3 Na5 18.Rd3 Qc7 19.Bh6! Nxb3 20.cxb3 Qc5+ 21.Kh1 (Better might have been 21.Re3 Rfc8 22.g4 saving a tempo in the attack. -- Gligoric) 21...Qe5!? (Sacrificing the exchange to break the attack. -- Evans) 22.Bxf8 Rxf8 23.Re3 Rc8 24.fxg6 hxg6 25.Qf4 Qxf4 26.Rxf4 Nd7 27.Rf2 Ne5 28.Kh2 Rc1 29.Ree2 Nc6 30.Rc2 Re1 31.Rfe2 Ra1 32.Kg3 Kg7 33.Rcd2 Rf1 34.Rf2 Re1 35.Rfe2 Rf1 36.Re3 a6 37.Rc3 Re1 38.Rc4 Rf8 39.Rdc2 Ra1 40.Rf2 Re1 41.Rfc2 g5 42.Rc1 Re2 43.R1c2 Re1 44.Rc1 Re2 45.R1c2 Re1 1/2-1/2

(13) V. Anand vs. M. Gurevich, Linares, 1991
1.e4 d6 2.d4 g6 3.Nc3 bg7 4.f4 Nf6 5.Nf3 c5 6.Bb5+ Bd7 7.e5 Ng4 8.e6 fxe6 9.Ng5 Bxb5 10.Nxb5 Qa5+ 11.c3 (For 11.Bd2!? see Korneev-Vasiliev, Smolensk 1991, won by White) 11...Qxb5 12.Nxe6 Na6 (12...Qd7? 13.Qxg4 cxd4 14.Nxg7+ Kf7 15.f5 Kxg7 16.Qxd4+ Kg8 17.Bh6 e5 18.fxe6 1-0, Lhagvasuren-J.Hansen, Manila Ol 1992) 13.Nxg7+ (13.Qxg4 is Beliavsky-Timman, Belfort 1988) 13...Kf7 14.Qxg4 (14.Ne6 can be examined in Hellers-Seirawan, Haninge 1990, 1/2-1/2) 14...Kxg7 15.Be3!? Qxb2 16.0-0 Qxc3 17.Rae1 Rhf8! (17...Rae8? is answered by 18.f5 as in Eisenmann-Kassing, corr. 1988, a quick win for White) 18.f5 (18.Qh4!? -- M.Gurevich) 18...Rxf5 19.Qh3? (19.Bh6+! -- Nunn) 19...Kh8! 20.Rxf5 gxf5 21.Qh4 Nb4! 22.Bf2 Nd5 23.Qh5 Rf8 24.dxc5 dxc5 25.Bg3 f4 26.Bh4 Ne3!? 27.Qf3 Rg8 28.Kh1 Qd2 29.Rg1 Qd6! 30.Qe4 Qd5! 0-1 (White resigned because after 31.Qxe7 Rxg2 White is forced to exchange queens by 32.Qd8+ to avoid being mated. -- Nunn)

(14) W. Watson vs. A. Shirov, Gausdal, 1991 and A. Shirov vs. A. Khalifman, Groningen, 1990 (Yes, Shirov played both sides of the same game. hmmm?!)
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4 Bg7 5.Nf3 c5 6.Bb5+ Bd7 7.e5 Ng4 8.e6 fxe6 9.Ng5 Bxb5 10.Nxb5 Qa5+ 11.c3 Qxb5 12.Qxg4 cxd4 (12...Na6? 13.Qxe6 Bf6; Or, using a different move order, 12...Bf6 13.Qxe6 Na6 14.Nf7 Qb6 15.Nxh8 cxd4 16.0-0 Nc7 17.Qh3 dxc3+ 18.Be3 Qxb2 19.Rab1 Qxa2 20.Rxb7 Qc4 21.Rfb1 Bxh8 22.Rb8+ Kf7 23.Qxh7+ 1-0, Khalifman-Popchev, Sochi 1989) 13.Nxe6 Qc4 14.f5 (14.Nxg7+!? -- see Gruenfeld-Tal below) 14...Bf6 15.fxg6 Rg8 16.g7 Nc6 17.Nc7+ Kd8 18.Ne6+ Ke8 19.Nc7+ Kd8 20.Ne6+ 1/2-1/2

(15) Y. Gruenfeld vs. M. Tal, Tel Aviv, 1990
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4 Bg7 5.Nf3 c5 6.e5 Ng4 7.Bb5+ Bd7 8.e6 fxe6 9.Ng5 Bxb5 10.Nxb5 Qa5+ 11.c3 Qxb5 12.Qxg4 cxd4 13.Nxe6 Qc4 14.Nxg7+!? Kf7 15.f5! Kxg7 16.Qh4 Nc6 17.Rf1 Kg8? (17...Rhe8! -- Tal) 18.Be6 Re8 (White is better here but the game ended in a draw. A good line for White now would be 19.0-0-0! Qa2 20.f6! Ne5 21.Qd4 -- Fritz analysis)

(16) W. Browne vs. R. Burnett, US Championship, Seattle, WA, January 17, 2003 1. d4 d6 2.e4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4 Bg7 5.Nf3 c5 6.e5 Nfd7 7.e6 fxe6 8.Ng5 Nf6 9.dxc5 d5 10.Bb5+ Nc6 11.Qe2 d4 12.Nce4 Nxe4 13.Nxe4 e5 14.0-0 0-0 15.Bc4+ Kh8 16.Ng5 Qe8 17.Bd2 h6 18.Ne6 Bxe6 19.Bxe6 Rf6 20.Bb3 exf4 21.Bxf4 e5 22.Bxh6?! (22.Bd2!=) Rxf1+ 23.Qxf1 Bxh6 24.Qf6+ Kh7 (definitely not 24...Bg7? 25.Qh4+!!) 25.Bf7 Be3+ 26.Kh1 Qf8 27.Bxg6+ Kg8 28.Qe6+ Kg7 29.Bd3 Qf6 30.Qd7+ Qe7 31.Qf5?! (31.g4+!= -- Fritz) Qh4 32.g3 Qh6 33.Rf1 Kh8 34.Qd7 Ne7 35.Qxb7 (The knight is poison: 35.Qxe7?? Qc6+ 36.Be4 Qxe4+ 37.Rf3 Qxf3#; 35.Be4!?) 35...Qc6+ 36.Qxc6 Nxc6 37.a3 Kg7 38.b4 Ne7 39.Be4 Rc8 40.Kg2 Bd2 41.Rb1 Ng8 42.Kf3 Nf6 43. Bf5 Rf8 44.Rb3 Bc3 45.g4 Re8 46.Be4 Rh8 47.g5 Nxe4 48.Kxe4 Rxh2 49.Rxc3? (No doubt the clock was a factor at this point. 49.b5!=) dxc3 50.c6 Kf7 51.c7 Rh8 52.Kxe5 Ke7 53.g6 Kd7 64.g7 Rc8 55.Kf6 Kxc7 0-1 (56.Kf7 Kc6 57.g8=Q Rxg8 58.Kxg8 Kb5 is convincing.)

(17) N. DeFirmian vs. L. Alburt, US Championship, 1990
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4 Bg7 5.Nf3 c5 6.Bb5+ Bd7 7.e5 Ng4 8.e6 fxe6 9.Ng5 Bxb5 10.Nxe6 Bxd4 11.Nxb5 (play out the game by clicking here)

(18) Savon-Korchnoi, USSR ch., 1973
Click here to see game

(19) J. Curdo vs. M. Klegon, Boxborough, MA, September 3, 2005
click here

(20) Velimirovic-Rajkovic, Skopje, 1971

(21) Hort-Torre, Polanica Zdroj, 1977

(22) Sax-Seirawan, Brussels, 1988

coming as soon as I can load them:
(23) Niro-Bowler, Stratton Mtn., VT, 1997
(24) Niro-Kaminsky, Dallas, TX, 2001

(25) Van der Weil-Seirawan, Lucerne, 1989

(26) Kramnik-Grischuk, Wijk aan Zee, 2005

To order Mr. Curdo's books, feel free to write to him:
John Curdo
8-1 Tuck Farm Road
Auburn, MA 01051

If you would like the games in this or any other of my blogs in PGN format so that you can play the games over on ChessBase, etc., please send me an e-mail at and I will send them to you as soon as I am able (no charge, of course).

I will be back soon with a few additional games for today's blog. Thanks for your patience.


Monday, February 11, 2008

Heaven Help My Heart

Heaven Help My Heart

In anticipation of Valentine's Day, I have loaded my first YouTube video in my blog for my wife and daughters. I love you Tash. I love you Elizabeth and Danielle. The song, written by Tim Rice, is from the 1988 theatrical production of Chess.

Happy Valentine's Day to all!


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Dick Cavett's interview of Bobby Fischer

Was it only a game?

Click the link above to read Dick Cavett's recollections of Bobby Fischer and to view the 1971 appearance of Fischer on Cavett's TV show.

Be sure to read through some of the comments about Fischer at the end of Cavett's blog.